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We can certainly gain tremendous efficiencies in Lightroom when it comes to printing multiple images. For example, to produce a contact sheet featuring a variety of different photos. But, a more common approach for many photographers is to print an individual image, one image on one sheet of paper, one at a time. Let's take a look at the basic workflow in default of creating a print of a single image. The first step, of course, is to make sure that the filmstrip contains the image that we actually want to print, so that we can select that image within the print module.
In this case I'd like to print this image of a field of wild flowers and obviously I have that image on the filmstrip. And so I'm ready to create a print of this image. I'm in the Print module and I can start by choosing a particular template from the Template Browser. At the moment, the template is set to 5 by 7 inch image. But, I'd like to produce a larger print and so I'm going to choose the 8 by 10 option. You can see that the image now essentially fills the available space. In fact, it quite literally fills the available space in terms of that 8 by 10 layout.
Let's take a look at the settings over on the right panel, so that we can get a better sense of what we might want to change about those settings and how the settings affect our printed output. We're working in the Single Image slash Contact Sheet layout style, so if we adjusted our settings so that multiple images could be printed on the page, each of the cells on that page would have a different image in it. A Picture Package by contrast would feature multiple copies of the same image. Next we'll take a look at the Image Settings, and here one of the key settings that I recommend taking a look at is the Zoom to Fill option.
Zoom to Fill essentially means that your image may very well be cropped. If I turn this checkbox off, you'll see that the image gets a little bit smaller. So that I see the entire image, it just fits within that 8 by 10 inch frame that I've created, that cell size. If I turn the checkbox on, the image is enlarged so that it fills the available space. But in this case the aspect ratio of the image would produce about an 8 by 12 inch print rather than an 8 by 10 inch print. And so since my cell is constrained to an aspect ratio of 8 by 10 zooming the film means the image must be cropped.
A couple of inches must be cropped from the sides in order to produce an image that fills the available space. In most cases I prefer to turn off the Zoom to Fill checkbox because I want to print the entire image just fitting within a particular size. But of course, in some cases, you might want to actually have the image fill the available space. If I do turn on Zoom to Fill, I can also then drag the image around within that Print layout, in order to optimize the position of the image. In most cases, if I wanted to print to a particular aspect ratio, I would probably use the Develop module to crop the image, even if only temporarily, so that I can greater fine-tune the overall appearance of the image based on that crop.
But, in this case I'm simply going to turn off the Zoom to Fill checkbox. Notice that we also have the Rotate to Fit checkbox turned on, and that means that even though I'm using a vertical sheet of paper with a horizontal image, the image is being printed as large as it possibly can. In other words it's filling that available space, by being rotated. If I turn off the Rotate to Fit checkbox you'll see that the horizontal image, is printed horizontally leaving lots of space above and below. So again, in most cases, you'd probably want to have that Rotate to Fit checkbox turned on, so that you're producing a print that is as large as possible based on the cell size you've created for the particular print you're producing.
But, of course, in some cases you may want to turn off this checkbox, so that even though you're printing a horizontal image on a vertical sheet of paper, the image will still appear horizontally based on how you're going to actually share. So for example, if you're going to share a series of prints and you don't want the person who's viewing those prints to have to rotate each sheet as they go from vertical to horizontal, you could leave that checkbox turned off. Just be aware that then the vertical images will print larger than the horizontals. In this case, I do want to have the image printed as large as possible without being cropped.
And so I'll turn off the Zoom to Fill checkbox and turn on the Rotate to Fit checkbox. Otherwise, all of these settings are perfectly fine, based on the overall settings that were initially established for the template. In other words, I really just wanted to make some fine tuning adjustments. In this case, I'm producing an 8 by 10 inch print, although I've turned off the option to Zoom to Fill, and so I'm not really producing an 8 by 10. But rather an image that fills the available space and is as close to 8 by 10 as possible without actually getting cropped.
So, in other words, I'll end up with a 10 inch width, but a height that's a little bit less. Otherwise, these settings are perfectly fine. And so now that I've configured that print for a single image, I'm ready to actually produce the print.
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